Hayden Paddon: Driven - Review

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Words: Nile Bijoux
20 Aug 2019

It’s a great time to be a Kiwi motorsport fan who also enjoys reading about it. On the circuit racing side there’s the Scott McLaughlin biography, detailing his bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat in 2017. And on the off-road side, now we have Hayden Paddon telling his life story in Driven.

The book starts from the beginning, with Paddon discussing his upbringing in Geraldine and his attraction to rallying. We learn about how his father guided him and encouraged him to develop his racing skills by tearing up his back yard in a go-kart. When the time came to follow the likes of Scott Dixon, Brendon Hartley and Scott McLaughlin into circuit racing or follow his childhood dream of winning a World Rally Championship race, it wasn’t a difficult decision.

Paddon wrote the bulk of the book alongside ODT alum Catherine Pattison and it reads casually, like Paddon is recounting his life over a cuppa.

It’s not just a story about his rise to stardom either; there are proper pitfalls along the way. We won’t spoil too much for those not aware of Paddon’s story but discovering the other side of the 2017 Monte Carlo incident was sobering. Couple that with his ten-year relationship imploding later that year and it’s pretty incredible to read about his bounce back to form.

While fans will no doubt know about the rollercoaster ride of securing a 2019 WRC drive, for those unaware it’s a harsh introduction into the world of professional motorsport. It’s easy to think these guys get a contract, take a few wins and immediately start looking for a home in Monaco. As Paddon says, he could cover his living costs but he wasn’t out buying Ferraris.

Make it to the end and Paddon reveals that he and Hyundai NZ are working on creating a fully electric rally machine based on the Hyundai Kona. While few details are available at the moment, Paddon assures us that it will go like stink and make plenty of noise.

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